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Local News

  • City seeking auditor’s help

    The state attorney general’s office declined the city’s request to investigate former Utilities Director George DuFour for possible fraud in adjusting customers’ utility accounts.

    Now, the city has approached the state auditor’s office.

    Carlos Quiñones, the city’s interim attorney, sent a letter to State Auditor Hector Balderas on March 9, requesting an investigation of bill adjustments from November 2007 to January 2009. He said he was acting at the request of Mayor Tony Marquez.

  • Campos’ name on dorms?

    Members of a club connected to Highlands University asked the school’s Board of Regents this week to name a number of buildings after notable people, including state Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas.

    H-Club President Ted Maestas, along with club members Mel Root and Ron Maestas, stood before the regents during Wednesday’s regular meeting to pitch their ideas for naming of buildings and facilities. The H-Club recognizes the school’s athletes.

  • Correction

    Mike Sweeney is a former employee for the area acequias association, not a current leader. A story in last Wednesday’s Optic contained incorrect information.

  • Video rental chain store closes its doors

    Blockbuster Video Superstore in Las Vegas has closed its doors.

    Regional Manager Nicole Dinsman said that Las Vegas’ Blockbusters was part of a franchise group, Serendipity Entertainment. Serendipity Entertainment is in Kansas City, Mo. 

    Dinsman said the Las Vegas Blockbuster store had only one full-time employee — the store’s manager. The other seven employees were part time, Nicole said.

  • Officials warned in secret memo

    At least one City Council member cannot be trusted to follow the city’s ethics code because the member has released confidential e-mails to the public, the city’s attorney says.

    In a confidential memo to the council on March 9, City Attorney Carlos Quiñones said a story in the March 2 Las Vegas Optic makes clear that someone is releasing e-mails in violation of the ethics code and his legal advice.

  • Board renews school chief's contract

    West Las Vegas Superintendent Jim Abreu will spend at least another year at his post after the school board renewed his contract last week.

    After a two-hour closed session, board Chairwoman Christine Ludi announced the terms of the contract in which Abreu’s salary will remain at $115,000.

    The week before, the board tabled the matter after spending five hours behind closed doors evaluating the superintendent’s performance.

    Board vice president Gary Gold said Abreu has done a tremendous job for the district during his tenure.

  • City gets out word: outside of town

    When the mayor wanted to get the word out about a committee that he was planning to form, he didn’t go to the local newspaper. And he didn’t inform the City Council as a whole.

    Instead, he placed a paid advertisement in the Albuquerque Journal’s northern edition on Thursday. It appeared a day after reports from City Hall indicated that Mayor Tony Marquez, upset with recent Optic coverage of his administration, had it be known that he no longer wanted any of the city’s advertising to go to the local newspaper.

  • District gets credits on project

    An official giving a tour of the Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary School construction project asked a visitor this week, “When was the last time the school district got money back from a construction project?”

    But that’s exactly what’s happening with Don Cecilio, said Jerry Maestas, the West Las Vegas school district’s construction manager.

    At last week’s West Las Vegas school board meeting, architect Antonio Ortega laid out the details on the work being done at Don Cecilio.

  • Officials respond to Lee residents

    The city has been going in circles recently when it comes to Lee Drive.

    Last week, however, the Las Vegas City Council arrived at a decision about the controversial roundabout at Lee and Kierig Street: Keep it.

    The city built the roundabout and approaching medians last year in response to residents’ complaints about speeding in their neighborhood.

  • Vendors upset with new policy

    Food vendors who have done business on Fifth Street during lunchtime at Robertson High School for years said last week they were being unfairly targeted.

    Recently, they said the city police were called to tell them they couldn’t park along the yellow curb next to the school.

    Dale Bustamante of Buba’s Pizza and Nghia Ha, owner of Little Saigon, said at a Las Vegas City Schools board meeting last week they were getting mixed messages from school officials.